We’ve been talking about Student Leader Upgrades this week, and here’s a concrete one for this week’s Fridea.

What if you challenged your student leaders to begin a “ministry of presence” on campus, just like their college ministers (hopefully) have?

Of course, being “purposefully in the midst” of their campus is different for those who spend every day there. But it could play out in some key ways (see the bullets below).

But first, what’s the purpose of this? You want to be teaching your leaders to have vision in the midst of their campus that goes beyond their status as tribe citizens. They need to become college ministers without leaving the other identity behind. And time spent among their fellow students with an eye open for ministry opportunities, hurting people, and deeper knowledge of their campus will add to their missionary understanding. But more than affecting the students themselves, these kinds of purposeful moments will actually invite ministry, both with students they don’t know and with students they do.

A few examples:

  • Posting up regularly in a location they wouldn’t normally inhabit – studying in a public lounge instead of their dorm room, for instance, or sitting at a certain table in the Student Center each Monday afternoon
  • Joining a (passive) activity to connect with participants and those around them – like becoming a basketball fan for a semester, or attending various art programs
  • Actually joining a program, for the potential to meet and minister (an opportunity for a “ministry of presence” an adult college minister doesn’t have) – from an intramural team to academic competition to a club for their major.

Remember, this can sometimes start as ministry to students your student leader already leads… like telling small group members they’ll have regular “office hours” in the cafeteria or attending the recitals of one piano-playing member of their ministry team. And honestly, that may be enough – or God may enable ministry to more students, too. And either way, if they’re watching, He’s likely to show them some things about their campus.

It’s the purposefulness of the presence that matters here – the purposeful lens of a college minister and not simply a student.